Best Online Colleges in San DiegoContinuing our series of best online college by state rankings, we have examined all online colleges near San Diego and chosen to showcase the top schools, based on the methodology stated below.

San Diego, California is home to gorgeous skies, scenic communities, and a beautiful coast, not to mention scientific innovations and a strong educational influence. The city is the second largest in California and ranks eighth in population across the entire United States. This world-class city rests along the Mexican border and the San Diego – Tijuana conurbation is the second largest among those in the United States with its bordering countries and is the largest along the Mexican border. The city has a number of must-see attractions for visitors which include Balboa Park, Belmont Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, SeaWorld, and the very famous San Diego Zoo.

The San Diego area is surrounded by a large number of institutions of higher learning. Also, there are plenty of colleges in the area which offer online courses for credit as a flexible option for students. This ranking provides students with information about the top 19 schools in the area which is within 50 miles of San Diego and within the United States providing online courses as an option for students.

Methodology

Using sources such as CollegeData and Niche, as well as the schools’ websites, each school was evaluated to find out if online classes were offered. Then, the online colleges were organized by adding together the percentage numbers for freshman satisfaction and graduation rates. Added to these numbers were a numerical equivalent of the academic and overall grades provided by niche, with A+ being 100, A being 90 and so on in this manner. In order to boost the score of lower cost schools, the (residential) cost of attendance in thousands was rounded and subtracted from the total of the other numbers to give a final score.

Example: 55 (percent freshman satisfaction) + 29 (graduation percent) + 80 (A- Academic Grade) + 60 (B Overall Grade) = 224
224 (total from above) – 26 ($26,390 cost of attendance) = 198 (final score for ranking)

In some cases, data may have been found from an alternate source, such as the National Center for Education Statistics website in order to achieve a more complete ranking. Also in very few cases Niche was unable to provide a letter grade, in which case the star system from reviews was used in place with 5 stars being the numerical equivalent of an A, 4 stars as a B, and so forth. There were several cases where complete data was unavailable which likely resulted in a school being ranked lower than if all data had been accessible. We also consulted our own ranking of the best online colleges during our research.

Top 15 Best Online Colleges Near San Diego

15. California Miramar University

California Miramar University was established in 2005 when the school purchased the assets of Pacific Western University – California. By 2007 the school was ready to move its new home in San Diego and filed for accreditation, during which time it was established that PWU records and transcripts would be kept separate from the new California Miramar University. The school has now developed a unique way of offering several degree programs in order to best serve its students in the fashion which best suits them.

Programs offered at California Miramar University include an Associate of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration / MBA, Master of Science in Strategic Leadership, Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, and Doctor of Business Administration / DBA. Programs are offered on campus, hybrid, and 100% online so that students are able to learn the way that works best for them.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

California Miramar University’s Website – https://www.calmu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaMiramarUniversity

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CMUnetwork

14. Columbia College – San Diego

Columbia College-San Diego

Columbia College – San Diego is a branch of Columbia College of Missouri. Columbia College received its charter from Missouri legislature back in 1851 and was named Christian Female College. The school has come a long way since then, with more than 30 campuses across the United States. Columbia College has also been recognized for being a “Best Midwestern University” by The Princeton Review.

Columbia College – San Diego offers students a variety of degree and certificate programs as well as pre-professional. With a wide variety of online majors, students are able to choose from areas of study such as Business, Marketing; Computer Science, Mathematics; Criminal Justice, Human Services; Education; General Studies; History, Philosophy, Political Science; Literature, Communication; Nursing, Science; and Psychology, Sociology.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Columbia College – San Diego’s Website – http://www.ccis.edu/nationwide/sandiego.aspx

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mycolumbiacollege

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ColumbiaColg

13. Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Founded in 1969, Thomas Jefferson School of Law was originally the San Diego campus of the Western State University College of Law. However, in 1995, the school became independent and joined the Association of American Law Schools in 2008. In early 2011 Thomas Jefferson School of Law opened a brand new 8-story, 305,000-square-foot campus which was located in the East Village district of downtown San Diego. The building complies with LEED’s Green Building Gold Certification requirements. The new school building contains classrooms, offices, a 2-story law library with well over a million volumes, collaborative work areas, and even has a legal clinic. Thomas Jefferson School of Law not only has outstanding facilities, but the education students receive at the school is of the highest quality.

In addition to JD programs, Thomas Jefferson School of Law also offers several graduate programs, a few of which may be taken online.

Applicants with a JD/LLB (first degree in law) are able to participate in the following degree programs: LL.M. in International Taxation and Financial Services (online program) with a choice of concentrations in: Taxation, Financial Compliance, or Financial Services and Wealth Management; LL.M. in American Legal Studies (Foreign attorneys only, program is residential in San Diego); LL.M. in Practice Skills; and J.S.D in International Taxation and Financial Services (online program)

Applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree are eligible to participate in the degree program for J.S.M. in International Taxation and Financial Services (online program)
With a choice of concentrations in Taxation, Financial Compliance, or Financial Services and Wealth Management.

It should be noted that as a graduate school, retention rates and graduation rates were not published, therefore the ranking is likely much lower than if it were compared to only other graduate schools.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Website – https://www.tjsl.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/officialtjsl

Twitter – https://twitter.com/tjsl

12. San Diego Christian College

San Diego Christian College

Located in Santee, California, about 19 miles away from San Diego, you can find the San Diego Christian College. SDC was founded in 1970 by Dr. Tim LaHaye, Dr. Art Peters, and Dr. Henry Morris, all of whom had the desire to be able to equip students not only with education for the mind but that of the heart as well. The school was named Christian Heritage College and it first awarded degrees in 1973. The school moved shortly thereafter to share a 32 acre complex with Shadow Mountain Community Church. It was in 2005 that the school changed names to San Diego Christian College. The school changed locations in 2014 to a new campus in Santee, but although the name and location have changed, the quality of education has not. SDC retains the mission to not only educate but also inspire students through the truth of Scripture as well as to develop the skills needed to be successful graduates with a purpose of impacting the world around them.

Today, the San Diego Christian College enrolls around 1000 students and offers a 15 to 1 student to faculty ratio. Undergraduates are offered a wide array of majors to choose from in some of today’s most popular fields. Online Programs available for undergraduates are a BS in Business Management, BA in Christian Ministries, BA in Psychology, BA in Communications, BA in Human Development, BS in Leadership and Justice, AA in Liberal Studies. Graduate Programs offered by SDC include an MS in Leadership, an MA in Teaching, an MA in Teaching along with Credential, and Teaching Credential.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

San Diego Christian College’s Website – https://sdcc.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sdcchawks/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/SDChristian

11. San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College is one of the largest and most successful of California’s 113 community colleges. Mesa College is the largest college in the San Diego Community College District. It is clear that the college takes great pride in offering programs with high academic standards. Mesa College also offers terrific student services and takes a personal approach when it comes to helping each student achieve their academic goals.

Students attending San Diego Mesa College can choose between many areas of study in order to obtain an Associate of Arts Degree or Associate of Science Degree or an associate degree program for transfer to a university which offers the bachelor degree program they would wish to complete. While Mesa College is large, it is still growing and now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Management Program, classifying the school as a 4-year institution according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. Mesa College also offers students a wide variety of online courses to choose from in a wide array of subjects. The online database for courses belongs to the San Diego Community College District and includes Mesa, Miramar, and City.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

San Diego Mesa College’s Website – http://www.sdmesa.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoMesaCollege/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/sdmesacollege

10. Alliant International University

Alliant International University

Alliant International University is located in Scripps Ranch in northeast San Diego, California. The school’s name and existence are the results of a merger of three legacy institutions. The first was the San Francisco Law School which was founded in 1909, United States International University, founded in 1927 was another which merged together in 2001. The California School of Professional Psychology which was founded in 1969 was the third school which participated in the merger, joining Alliant in 2010. Keeping with traditions brought forward from the schools who formed Alliant, the school employs noteworthy faculty and continues graduating high-achieving students. Together they have and continue to impact the world in a positive way.

Alliant International University is comprised of five schools, California School of Professional Psychology, California School of Education, California School of Management and Leadership, California School of Forensic Studies, and San Francisco School. There are also locations in six of California’s cities San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, and Irvine, and two international locations, one in Tokyo, and St. Luke Medical School in Mexico City. The San Diego Campus offers undergraduate bachelor’s programs in Psychology, Criminal Justice Systems, Political Science, Child Development, and Business Administration. A number of graduate programs are offered for students in Psychology, Law, Education, and Business.

Online programs offered at Alliant International University include a Teaching Credentials, TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Certificate, CLAD: Cross-Cultural Language & Academic Development Certificate, and a BA in Child Development. Masters of Arts degrees available online include Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Counseling, Organizational Behavior, Organizational Psychology, Teaching, (MAE), and TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Masters of Science degrees are available online in Applied Criminology, and a Clinical Psychopharmacology Postdoctoral (MS) is available as well. The school also offers an online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and a doctoral program for Educational Leadership & Management (EdD). There are also three hybrid programs available, School Counseling (MAE) with PPS, School Psychology (MAE) with PPS, and Educational Psychology (PsyD).

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Alliant International University’s Website – https://www.alliant.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AlliantU/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AlliantU

9. Coleman University

Coleman University

Located in San Diego, Coleman University has been a forward-looking university since it was founded in 1963 as Coleman College. The school was created looking to the future with career opportunities being created by electronic data processing in industry, business, government, and education. By the 1970s as technology advances, the increasing need for Information Technology education led to the school offering both associate and bachelor of science degree programs for the major. As the school grew and changed, so did the courses offered in order to keep current with technology and the needs of the industries and such around them. Early on, Coleman implemented a unique study style known as “inverted curriculum”, which allows students to study major coursework before pursuing general education. Today the school is well known for its high academic standards and for being a leader in computer education. Alumni of Coleman University can be found across the nation as well as in many foreign countries.

Programs offered at Coleman University are for majors in Game Development, Graphic Design, Cybersecurity, and Software Development. There are also master’s level programs for Business Administration and Information Systems Management as well as an MBA in Health Care Management. Also, Coleman University offers some courses online. While undergraduate programs may contain some courses which can be taken online, in order to complete all required courses for any of our undergraduate programs, the student must be in residence at the San Diego campus. Also, the College of Graduate Studies offers online courses within its programs, and the Master of Business Administration may be completed 100% online by students who qualify to participate in the program.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Coleman University’s Website – http://www.coleman.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ColemanUniv

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/colemanuniv

8. National University

 

National University

Photo courtesy of National University

National University is in La Jolla, California about 14 Miles north of San Diego. The university was founded in 1971 as a nonprofit and has since grown into one of the largest private, nonprofit universities in California. National University serves over 17,000 students and has 28 different campuses. There are hundreds of options for academic programs, including bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees, as well as programs for certificates available for its students to choose from.

National University offers students flexible online degrees which are adapted for students and their schedule. Whether the student finds they do their best studying in the early morning, squeeze in school time during lunch hour, or tend to be more of a night owl working after dinnertime on their studies, it is their choice when to participate in coursework. There are more than 70 degree programs all available 100% online. National University utilizes the latest technology in order to bring dynamic, interactive learning environments to its students online 24-7. The best part is, students never have to miss a class. Interactive tools like email, lectures, presentations, evaluations, quizzes, and exams work alongside links between students, their classmates, and the professor in order to create a sense of community while taking online courses.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

National University’s Website – https://www.nu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/nationaluniversity

Twitter – https://twitter.com/natuniv

7. Southern California Seminary

Southern California Seminary

Southern California Seminary is located in El Cajon, California about 16 miles from San Diego, about a 20-minute drive from downtown. It is a private institution of higher education which is devoted to teaching the Word of God both Online and On-Campus. Courses feature learning from the best textbook in the Christian faith, the Bible. SCS is supported by the ministry of Shadow Mountain Community Church which is under the leadership of Dr. David Jeremiah. The mission of Southern California Seminary is to bring glory to God by assisting local churches to equip believers of many cultures and languages to live and minister biblically. In order to equip, this includes education in biblical knowledge, influencing Christian character, and imparting ministry skills.

Students attending Southern California Seminary are taught through three divisions. Students are offered programs for AA in Christian Ministry (AACM), BA in Biblical Studies (BABS), and AA/AS to BABS Transfer Program through the college. The Graduate Bible & Theology degrees offered are MA in Christian Ministry (MACM), MA in Biblical Studies (MABS), MA in Science & Religion (MASR), MA in Christian Counseling (MACC), MA in Philosophy & Apologetics (MAPA), Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Theology (ThM), and Doctor of Ministry (DMin). The Graduate School of Behavioral Sciences at SCS offers four more programs: an MA in Counseling Psychology (MACP), MA in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT), Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), and Korean Language Behavioral Science.

Degree programs available online at Southern California Seminary are Associate of Arts in Christian Ministry, Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, Master of Arts in Science and Religion, Master of Arts in Christian Counseling, Master of Arts in Philosophy and Apologetics, and Master of Divinity.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Southern California Seminary’s Website – https://www.socalsem.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/socalsem/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/SoCalSeminary

6. California State University San Marcos

CSU San Marcos

San Marcos is about 35 Miles from San Diego and California State University San Marcos campus can be found on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city. The school is building on an innovative 25-year history and continues to look forward and embrace technology and new methods of teaching and course delivery. The school is conveniently located so that an hour’s drive or less could result in finding yourself at a beach, the Mexican Border, in the mountains, or in the desert, not to mention all the interesting things you may pass on the way there.

Today California State University San Marcos serves more than 14,000 students. Courses are offered through four colleges, the College of Business Administration; College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral & Social Sciences; College of Education, Health & Human Services; and College of Science & Mathematics. The school also offers Interdisciplinary studies and courses are available through the Department of Extended Learning which offers a very large selection of online courses. There are 31 Bachelor program majors, 37 minors, and 11 Master’s programs available on campus. There are also 8 credential programs offered as well as a joint doctoral program with UC San Diego. The online learning opportunities at CSUSM are high-quality and cost-effective. There is a fully online Master’s Degree in Education available as well as many credit and non-credit certificate programs. Courses are in subjects which range from business to healthcare, personal development, to legal studies.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

California State University San Marcos’ Website – https://www.csusm.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/csusm

Twitter – https://twitter.com/csusmnews

5. California College San Diego

California College San Diego

California College San Diego originated in 1971 as a vocational-technical school located in Scottsdale, Arizona and was known as Scottsdale Education Center and offered multiple allied health and technical programs. In 1977, the school moved to California and renamed itself California College for Respiratory Therapy (CCRT) and only offered a Respiratory Therapy Technician program. In 1978, a distance education version of the same program was launched. In 1983 the school renamed itself as California College of Health Sciences (CCHS). In 1996 the school changed hands and a year later was purchased by Harcourt General. In 2001 the school was purchased by Thomas Corporation and two years later was purchased by California College, Inc. It was then that the institution changed to the current name, California College San Diego (CCSD). The school is in the same family of schools which includes Stevens-Henager College and CollegeAmerica.

The academic offerings of the college have been expanded to include several degree programs in other popular fields, such as business, technology, and medical specialties. There are many programs offered at California College San Diego which have options for an online program, which is taken through Independent University, an affiliated school. Graphic Arts degrees are only available online. However, many associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in Health Care, business, and Technology are offered both on-campus and online, with only a few exclusively on-campus. Master’s degree programs are offered online in Healthcare, Business, and Technology fields.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

California College San Diego’s Website – https://www.cc-sd.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/californiacollegeSD/

4. Point Loma Nazarene University

Point Loma

San Diego is home to Point Loma Nazarene University which was established by a group of women from the Church of Nazarene with assistance from Phineas F. Bresee. While the original school in 1902 was to be a simple Bible college, as time passed the school found itself changing names and locations several times until, in 1998, it made a final change from Point Loma Nazarene College to become Point Loma Nazarene University.

Today, Point Loma is proud to serve nearly 3,500 students. Undergraduates and graduates are able to choose from more than 60 areas of study. The university is no stranger to change, as it has been embraced over the years as many changes can be for the better. One change that has happened in recent history is the addition of online courses as a new and inventive way to learn the same material offered in the classrooms. Summer sessions at Point Loma have online options for students who are spending summers away from campus. There is also an excellent online MBA program offered by the university.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

Point Loma Nazarene University’s Website – https://www.pointloma.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/go2PLNU

Twitter – https://twitter.com/plnu

3. San Diego State University

San Diego State University

Located in San Diego and dedicated to serving the region, is San Diego State University. The school was founded in March of 1897 as San Diego Normal School, which was a training facility for elementary school teachers. With seven faculty and 91 students, classes were temporarily held over a downtown drugstore prior to moving into a newly constructed campus on Park Boulevard which covered 17 acres. Although the original curriculum was limited to English, history, and mathematics, it was not long before the school began to expand in the courses it provided. In 1921, the school became San Diego State Teachers College which was a four-year public institution.

In 1931, the school had outgrown the Park Boulevard location and moved into a new campus on the eastern border of San Diego. Four years later, the school changed names again to become San Diego State College. In 1960, the school became a part of the newly created California State College system, which is now the California State University System. President John F. Kennedy gave the commencement address at San Diego State in 1963, just months before he was assassinated. Kennedy also received the first honorary doctorate given by the university and even the CSU system. In the 1970s, the school was granted their final name change to San Diego State University.

Online programs at San Diego State University are offered through the College of Extended Studies. There are certificate programs, degree programs, as well as career building courses. All of the online courses offered by SDSU are taught by faculty or industry experts in order to ensure the courses are of the highest quality. Some courses may even offer free demos. Online Certificates offered at SDSU are for Construction Programs, Project Management Programs, Regulatory Affairs Certificate, and Web and Mobile Applications Development. Master’s programs offered online through the College of Extended Studies at SDSU are Hospitality and Tourism Management, Public Administration Program, and Regulatory Affairs Program. The Featured Credit Course is currently the Speech-Language Pathology Essentials Program.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

SDSU’s Website – https://www.sdsu.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoState

Twitter – https://twitter.com/sdsu

2. University of San Diego

University of San Diego

Located in San Diego is none other than the University of San Diego. The college was chartered in 1949 and later opened in 1952 under the name San Diego College for Women. Two years later in 1954, the San Diego College for Men and the San Diego College for Men and the School of Law were started in the location where University of San Diego High School would later come to stand. It was in 1972 that the schools merged to become the coeducational University of San Diego.

Today, the University of San Diego has over 8,000 students which are offered a wide variety of programs to choose from. There are more than 60 degrees, undergraduate and graduate, offered for its students. Online programs are available for Master of Education, Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership, Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership, and Master of Science in Health Care Informatics.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

University of San Diego’s Website – http://www.sandiego.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/usandiego

Twitter – https://twitter.com/uofsandiego

1. University of California, San Diego

UC San Diego

Located in La Jolla, California, about 14 miles from the city of San Diego, is the University of California, San Diego. The school has been around since the 1960s and is one of three branches of the University of California which were established in order to accommodate the growth of college going students as the baby boomer generation came of age to attend. There was a small scandal involving unethical and unfair real estate practices in La Jolla at the time that the property for the school had been proposed and was being negotiated for. Therefore, in order to satisfy the investors who were upset, the name was changed to the University of California, San Diego instead of La Jolla.

Today, the school has grown and contains six colleges which are Revelle College, John Muir College, Thurgood Marshall College, Earl Warren College, Elanor Roosevelt College, and Sixth College. Three graduate schools are also a part of UC San Diego, they are Jacobs School of Engineering, Rady School of Management, and School of Global Policy and Strategy. Also, the school is home to the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences which is perfect for those seeking careers in the pharmacy and medical fields. The school also has its own health system for patient care and medical research, UC San Diego Health. Scripps Institution of Oceanography was incorporated into the school when it was built in La Jolla and is one of the oldest facilities designed for ocean, earth, and atmospheric research and education.

With such a large university, there is clearly a lot to offer students, and online education is included, too. UC Extension allows students to choose degree programs from areas of study such as Arts & Humanities, Data Analysis & Mathematics, Digital Arts, Business & Leadership, Education, Healthcare, Environment & Sustainability, Law, Sciences, Technology, and Writing. There are also a number of certificate programs available online for students who are not seeking a degree.

If you wish to learn more or would like to connect, please use the following links:

UCSD’s Website – https://ucsd.edu/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/UCSanDiego/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ucsandiego/

Top 15 Best Online Colleges Near San Diego